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Morphine consumption is associated with systemic inflammation in children undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

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Background: The majority of children undergoing allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) experience severe pain due to chemotherapy-induced gastrointestinal toxicity. Inter-individual differences in pain perceived and opioid consumption remain unexplained, limiting the possibility for individualized pain control. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between opioid consumption and markers of gastrointestinal toxicity (plasma citrulline) and systemic inflammation (plasma CRP and IL-6) in these patients. Methods: We retrospectively included 38 children undergoing HSCT in Denmark in 2010-2012. Opioids doses on days 0-21 post-HSCT were registered as intravenous morphine equivalents (MEs). CRP was measured daily on days 0-21. IL-6 was measured on day 7. Citrulline was measured before conditioning, on days 7 and 21. Results: Out of 38 children, 37 (97%) received opioids during days 0-21. CRP level and ME dose peaked on days 9-10 while citrulline level reached a nadir on day 7 indicating maximum enterocyte loss. CRP was associated with ME dose, with an estimated increase of 0.030 mg/kg (95% CI 0.024-0.035) in ME for a 50% increase in CRP level on the same day (p < .001). IL-6 was correlated with ME on day 7 (rho = 0.55, p = .002). Citrulline did not correlate with ME. Conclusions: Opioid consumption in the early post-HSCT period is associated with the degree of chemotherapy-induced systemic inflammation and not with the extent of enterocyte loss. These findings contribute to our understanding of mucositis-related pain and may be of interest for future studies on therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalImmunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
Volume41
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
ISSN0892-3973
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Allografts, C-Reactive Protein/metabolism, Child, Child, Preschool, Citrulline/blood, Enterocytes/metabolism, Female, Gastrointestinal Diseases/blood, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Humans, Infant, Inflammation/blood, Interleukin-6/blood, Male, Morphine/administration & dosage, Pain/blood

ID: 58993176